Business park plans advance in Lisbon
Commission approves zoning, land use changes

By Kelly Smith - Special to Conley Media

Sept. 17, 2019

TOWN OF LISBON — Despite the objections of about a half-dozen neighbors, town officials are in the process of approving land use plan and zoning changes for a proposed 125-acre business park development on the southwest border of the town and village of Sussex.

However, final approval of the changes is contingent upon the town and village agreeing to amend a nearly 20-year-old border agreement between the two municipalities.

According to the agreement, residential development is supposed to be the future use of a 75-acre farm owned by the Brown family located in the southwest corner of the town between Richmond and Lisbon (Hwy KE) roads.

However, the town plan commission last week approved changing the land use and zoning to allow Wangard Real Estate Development of Milwaukee to use 55 acres to construct the second phase of the Highland Business Park.

The remaining 20 acres would be used for residential and conservation purposes, according to Mark Lake, vice president of planning and development for Wangard.

Lake explained Highland Business Park, Phase I, is presently under construction immediately east of the farm on about 70 acres of land in Sussex on the northwest corner of the intersection of Hwy 164 and Lisbon Road.

About a half-dozen residents living along Richmond Road objected to the land use and zoning changes during a public hearing on Sept. 12.

They argued that when they moved to Lisbon they intended to live in a rural residential community and not in the vicinity of a business park.

They expressed concerns that the noise and light pollution generated by the business park would interfere with their quality of life.

They pointed out the town had established a land use plan and zoning code in the neighborhood that had assured them properties adjacent to them would be residential in the future.

Commission’s response

Town Chairman Joe Osterman conceded the residents had a legitimate complaint regarding the land use change but argued the development would bring jobs to the community and the plan commission and town board could impose restrictions on business and light industrial uses in the park.

Other plan commissioners said they were willing to support the land use changes because the developers were keeping the 20 acres in the northwest corner of the site for residential and conservation uses.

The commissioners argued that would provide a buffer between the residents living on Richmond Road and the business park.

The commission’s recommendations must be approved by the board and changes in the land use plan must also be approved by the Waukesha County Board.

Osterman emphasized the border agreement with Sussex would have to be amended and added Sussex officials were questioning whether the town was trying to violate the border agreement with the land use and zoning code changes.

“We do not want to violate the border agreement and we do not want to be accused of violating the border agreement,” explained Commissioner Ed Nelson.